NZ MTB Cup this weekend in Timaru

Timaru will serve as the second venue to host New Zealand's South Island Mountain Bike Cup this weekend. Located conveniently in the center of town, Centennial Park will host Sunday's cross country race, the X-Scenic event, involving multiple laps on the park's trail network.

Brendon Sharratt will be the rider to beat in the elite men's field after a stunning win in the Otago Peninsula Challenge last weekend. Sharratt's competition is likely to come from within a group of five U23 riders in the elite field, with Nelson's George Bennett eager to continue his strong road cycling form in his first national level mountain bike event this summer. Carl Jones is also in good race form after a run of injuries in 2008, and he knows the importance of leading the U23 riders across the finish line against the established elites.

In the elite women's race Samara Sheppard and Katherine O'Neill are the youngest entrants and they will face off against an elite field of considerable experience.

Adrian Retief has made the trip down from Auckland and will compete against a group of South Island U19 riders who have impressed so far this summer.

See Cyclingnews' coverage of round one of the cross country and downhill South Island MTB Cup.

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